This was asked on quora and here’s my reply:
You can become a great data analyst by continuously improving the analytics maturity of the company/start-up that you work for:
If you create bunch of reports and help answer what happened— then try to help business users with why it happened. [Example: Instead of just sending website traffic info, add why the traffic spikes (up/downs) are happening]
If you are working on building bunch of models that answer why questions then try to help build predictive models next [Example: You have been working on a model that helped you answer why customers churned. Now built upon that and predict which customers will churn next]
If you do analytics and data science well and are already answering what, why, what’s next questions and you’re killing it! Then figure out how can you help business owners take action. Or make it easier than ever before to take actions on your data/recommendations.
Other answers for questions are directly/indirectly covered if you do this:
- You will have to pick the right tool for the job
- You will have to continuously keep learning (by taking online courses and/or you-tube)
- Don’t just be a data analyst, be a thought partner to business owners and if possible, transition into role that help you own business outcomes.
Hope that helps!